If you were in my exact situation...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Buschmaster, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #1
    Let me just tell you what my "situation" is and then you can respond with what you feel I should get... Now, first of all, I'm set on Apple, simply because I'm using Windows right now, and one tends to remember the good ol' days on his LCIII growing up... Anyways, my question is what kind of computer I should get... What I can tell you about myself, and feel free to ask any more questions...

    In August I will be heading to college, I can get the education discounts either through them, or because my mom is a school board member in my high school's district. I will be a computer science major, and would like to take some graphic art courses, do you guys think I should still be PPC because of Photoshop, or will I be safe in buying Intel? Another thing is that I don't care, used, refurb, new, as long as it's in very very good condition and the price difference is enough to convince me to just not buy new... I was sold on the 15" PB's for a while, but now I'm not entirely sure what is right for me... An 14" iBook full of memory may be enough for me... I'm hoping that I will be able to get my computer sometime soon, maybe after the April event, because obviously whatever he announces could change this a lot... Keep in mind, the MacBook Pro is out of my price range... at least I think it is, the $1799 (With the discount) may not be out, but right now thinking how much college will cost... it's out... Also, if you hadn't noticed, I was speaking a lot of laptops, but am willing to change IF someone can really convince me that a desktop is a better move for me.

    Thanks!
     
  2. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Under the sun
    #2
    From what everyone has told me, if you do go for the mbp, it's better to get it off amazon because with the tax on the mbp you'll be paying a lot more than 1799 (I am also starting college in the fall). Everything is eventually going to go intel, so I think you should get an intel ibook if the rumor is true and they do come out around april 1st. As everyone told me, if you want to keep this laptop for a while, then you definitely need intel. I too have seen the refurb 15 inch pb notebooks but with the switch to intel, it's best not to go for a processor that's not going to be in use anymore (I'm going for the mbp).
     
  3. Benjamindaines macrumors 68030

    Benjamindaines

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    A religiously oppressed state
    #3
    You're definitely going to want a laptop.

    Option one: I suggest waiting as long as you can for the 17" MBP to come out and then buying a 17" G4 PowerBook from the referb store. Adobe has said that CS2 will never be universal Binary so if you buy Intel you will have to wait for CS3 to come out to get the full speed.

    Option 2: If you can afford it buy a 15" MBP now. But just know that photoshop will be a little slow for you. But when CS3 comes out you'll leave everyone else in the dust.
     
  4. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Little grey, chilly island.
    #4
    You have lots of options, but at the end of the day only you can decide which is best for you.

    If the macbook pro is out of your price range then take a look at the refurb Powerbook 15.2" - they seem excellent value for money, and look amazing whilst also packing a nice punch. It may be a year or at the very minimum 6+months before Adobe releases a native Photoshop, and even then, they do and will continue to support Power PC.

    Other than this, take a look at the iMac...I personally preferportability, and while some may argue that you don't "need" it whilst at college, I would argue that it's a bloody nice feature to have - and it really does mean that you can have all your work with you at all times...
     
  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #5
    If you are going to be a freshman in college just get a MBP, cause by the time you will be needing a powerful machine the right software will be available. At earliest your classes in the Spring quarter (semester) will be when you need a powerful computer.

    I'd go with Intel. Cause your first year of school is mainly writing papers, and doing math by hand, nothing too intense. And graphically you'll be ok for a few months.
     
  6. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #6
    Don't buy anything unless you need it. There are computers on campus that you can use your freshman year. Once you start taking graphic classes, buy what you need then according to what is available at the time you need it. It's been said a million times, but Photoshop runs like crap on Intel-Mac. Your better off with PPC if you need the speed right now. Don't buy a machine because it's the latest-greatest and everyone tells you that is the future of Mac. Buy a machine to run the software you need right now and the immediate future. If the software for intel machines was out now, then it would be a different situation. Wait until the software is released and then see what Apple has to offer, or buy PPC now and get work done now.

    If you don't want to use the computers at school, then what about buying a used iBook or iMac (PPC) to hold you over until the transition is complete? Save your money and buy a revision b or c MBP next year when you have a better idea of your needs and you will have more choice from Apple.

    Just try to keep in mind, you don't need a fast computer to write essays. And sorry to say, that's what you will be doing most of your first year or two at college. That and a lot of math unless you tested high... :rolleyes:

    As a side note, it cracks me up how many people on this board are recommending people to buy Mactel over PPC when the optimized software isn't out yet. Sure, go ahead and buy the new Intel Macs if you're not running pro apps and only doing web surfing/email, but if you want to use Photoshop, forget it. Better off sticking with PPC until Adobe catches up. By the time Adobe releases a Universal Binary of Creative Suite, Apple will have a whole new line of machines out... or at least some Revision B machines and that would be a better time to buy. Why be an early adopter if you can't use your software yet? People are afraid of buying OLD hardware, even though Apple is still selling it. Anything you buy from Apple right now will last at least 4 years... longer if it's a top-of-the-line machine like the Quad.
     
  7. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #7
    If he's waiting for software, then he might as well wait to buy the hardware to run it. By the time Adobe releases Creative Suite, Apple will have new computers out and they will be faster and probably 64bit. The current top of the line MBP will be the bottom of the Mactel line by the time Photoshop goes UB.
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    Agreed. Either wait to buy anything at all, or get a G4 iBook or PowerBook to tide you over for the first year or so. You should be able to get a refurbed one with plenty of RAM for under $1200 (maybe way under). If you want to connect an external monitor, pay a bit more and get a PB. If not, get an iBook.

    I have a 12" PB and find the form factor to be excellent for carrying around. I think the 15" is the sweet spot in terms of screen size/form factor optimization, but I'd save your money and go with a 12", while planning to buy a new (or newer) laptop after a year or so.

    Edit: note also that the $1799 doesn't take into account the minimum 1GB RAM you'll need (which you can easily buy 3rd party).
     
  9. iShane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    Yea...definitely a laptop. Probably the MBP would be the best.
     
  10. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #10
    I think he will buy a computer for college regardless. I get the feeling he isn't going to wait until 2007. So what should he buy when he goes to college. A MacBook Pro.

    What do you recommend he buy? I didn't catch that in your reply.
     
  11. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #11
    I would try and save up for a MBP. Its a great machine.
     
  12. Jedi128 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #12
    ????? What is going on here?

    "I think you should buy a macbook pro..."

    Didn't he say:

    So why is everyone recomending something to him that he said he can't afford?

    As of NOW the PPC is better to run stuff like Photoshop, but BUSCHMASTER said that he won't be doing graphics untill later in college. I'm thinking by that point CS3 should be out becuase it will be about a year from now or more. So that is when he will be using it so he may as well go intel. But, since he can't afford a MBP I think the best choice is to wait around untill after April and even after August. Wait untill the last day before you leave to go to school becuase you never know what Apple is going to do. See if an intel iBook comes out and consider that. I don't know how well the speeds of a 1.67G4 will hold up in 2007 and beyond. And if you can get a dual-core for the same price that is probably the way to go.

    You DON'T need to buy a macbook pro...
     
  13. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #13
    Well most people don't need a MBP, but its the best fit for the OP at this point. Chill out.
     
  14. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #14
    Wait until after the April 1st event. The Macbooks or iBooks could be really quite nice and worth considering, we'll just have to wait and see. Personally i think the best solution for a student would be a 12"/13" MacBook Pro + 20" ACD + Wireless Keyboard and Mouse or something along those lines so that you get the ultra portability, the power and the 'desktopness' when your back in your room. I don't know how much that would cost though and I don't even know if a 12"/13" MBP will ever exist.

    The best idea though is to wait as long as you can. At the very least wait until after April 1st. The 14" iBook is not worth bothering about as far as I'm concerned and it'll probably not get renewed during the next product iteration.
     
  15. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    the states for now
    #15
    So, would you say as a college freshman next year that getting a 2Ghz MBPro with 2GB RAM and 7200RPM HDD would be overkill for a bio major? Should I have settled for the stock 1.83 that would been $700 less?
     
  16. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #16
    Wow, everyone recommended the computer that I can't afford... crap.:(

    I guess I'll probably buy a computer to hold me over, what will hold it's value better for a year or so, a 14" iBook or 15" PowerBook?
     
  17. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #17
    Id wait a little longer and see what comes out in the intel ibook line. Im in a similar situation to yours, Ill be going to college in fall and need a laptop to bring but dont have the money for a mbp(and i want a smaller screen). Ill be doing a little graphics work but its not my major. Personally Id wait and look at the intel iBook when it comes out, hopefully at least one of the models will have dedicated graphics so some games will be possible. Also, apple usually does some type of extra back to school or studen union promotion in the summer, so may as well wait till then if you can, might be able to get a bigger discount and an ipod or something.

    Running Creative Suite shouldnt be a big deal since by the time you get the openings in class schedule to take graphics classes CS3 will likely be released.
     
  18. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #18
    Another alternative is find a good deal on a used Powermac G4. I fixed the one that I use religiously at my work, and it'll hold me over while I build up some more capital for a brand new machine. If anything, I can build up more cash and purchase something more expensive, since my need is not immediate anymore. Basically I can afford to wait, now that I've finally dropped Windows.

    I seriously barely use my laptop anymore, it's a sin.

    Alternatively, pick up an iBook for cheap. I don't know how much intensive applications you're going to be running, but the iBook certainly could hold you over while you make your way to the computer lab where you can get more horsepower.

    me for example, I have the Powermac G4 (like I said) in my dorm room, and the CS lab with Dual 2GHZ G5's is about two or three blocks away. If I don't have enough oomph here, I certainly do there. It's a shame that my laptop isn't a Mac so that I could just take that with me, instead of my ipod in disk mode or a USB Key.
     
  19. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #19
    In your OP you wrote: "... MacBook Pro is out of my price range .. the $1799 (With the discount) may not be out, but right now thinking how much college will cost... it's out."

    Responders may read such a statement and conclude that given how you are determined to make a purchase notwithstanding education costs, the actual differential amounts to several hundred, which is not unbearable. It is always easy to make recommendations when one's credit card will not be absorbing the hit. Given your age, there does not seem to be a compelling need to own an MBP. At a minimum, wait for the new MacBook since that is where the friendlier price zone will be found.
     
  20. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #20
    Well, I was one of the few who recomended that you hold off and use the computers on campus. You can afford those can't you!? I can't see how you would need anything beside word processing and internet your first year. Even if you do take graphics classes, such as intro to Photoshop, you will be using low-rez graphics and your labs probably all have G5's. Give yourself a year and save more money. By this time next year the transition to Intel will be complete and all the pro apps will be migrated, and hopefully you will have saved your money to get the machine you need. You will thank me then, if you heed my advice.

    Having said all that, if your dying to buy a computer, then look at getting a refurbished iBook to hold you over. Maybe a G4 laptop if you can find one cheap enough. Keep in mind, it's a pain in the ass hauling a computer around and worrying about getting it ripped off or dropping it, so a 12" G4 would be great, but good luck finding a cheap one.
     
  21. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #21
    some one should read what the major schools are recomending and what people recomend.

    Major schools in general recomend getting a good computer (for example current iMac or MBP lv) for all incoming freshmen.
    yeah schools have computers that are there that students can used but there are so many restiction on them that it will become an issue. Biggest one is saving stuff, some printing problems oh and installing software that needs to be used. Some of which you need to buy.

    Also THX1139 he is CS major. First year they general start into learning C++ and programing stuff in there. Quite offen the 24 hour labs do not have the stuff you need to do that. Plus the ammount of raw time that is going to be need working on a computer just for the CS classes justifly a computer. the Computer labs are good if some one only really need a computer for maybe 4-5 hours a week max. He is looking at 15-20 hours of need computer time a week. Enighlish classes one can easily reduce there needed time in frount of a computer to 1-2 hours a week if a lot of the work is done in pen and paper a head of time but that make it trouble some. He is looking at his freshman year bettween CS, history, engish, Goverment need to be on a computer around 15+ hours/week. way over the 4-5 hours a week that a lab use starts maxing out at.
    I have quite a few CS friends here at Texas Tech. The first year they wash out a lot of people with the programing class. And that a general thing that goes on at Computer science at all schools. Hardest part about programing is not learning the how to do it but being able to think the correct way to program and that something that it more you either get it or you dont. The earily class yes you could stuggle though but later on when stuff gets much more complect if the person does not have the ablilty to think like a computer they will have a lot more trouble and thinking like a computer just something you cannt really teach some one. Their mind either can do it or it cannt.
     
  22. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #22
    I would wait for the release of the MacBook or get a second hand (but relatively new) 15" PB. Desktops are cheaper, but in college a laptop will be extremely convenient.
     
  23. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #23

    I recommended that he buy nothing. That he should use the free computers on campus until he gets an idea of his needs AND while the transition to Intel and software migration is being completed. Maybe take another look next year? In the meantime, he doesn't NEED a computer the first year at school and he certainly doesn't need to spend all that money on a MacBook Pro. Total overkill to buy a new version machine especially when the software isn't available. By the time he will need a machine and the software is available, the MacBook Pro that he bought that he couldn't afford will be bottom of the line. But all of this is moot anyway, because he's already stated he can't afford a MBP... and that's probably a good thing. :D

    I'm amazed at how many people on this thread (and in this forum) recommend the MacBook Pro. I'm assuming it's because they can't get one for themselves and it's always fun to spend other peoples money? The only people I think who can justify buying a MacBook Pro are Mac software beta testers, or rich bored people who like to have the latest toys. Why spend $2500 for a computer to web surf and word process when you can do the same thing for far less? It falls short when it comes to most of the Pro applications. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash the machine - I wanted to buy one too! But after looking at the price point and the applications available, I realized it's not ready for prime-time no matter how cool it would make me look while sitting at Starbucks.
     
  24. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #24
    This would be my advice as well, but if you go for the iBook, you might as well get the 12" unless you need the DVD burner.
     
  25. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #25
    Quoted for agreement. Good advice and it's coming from a student. Don't let desire get in the way of your actual needs, else you pay for it in the long run.
     

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